6. Keep Calm by Pleasing God

6. Please God

Ellen and Chuck met some people with handicaps. They thought, “We can help these people.” 

They went to their pastor. “We know some special people,” they said. “Some limp and use a cane or walker. Others roll themselves in wheelchairs. Harold can’t talk plain. Several have hearing problems. We’d like to help these people. Can we start a class for them.” 

“Yes,” the pastor agreed. 

Every Sunday I saw these “special people” limp or roll in on wheelchairs. Jesus Christ stepped in and redeemed some of these special souls. 

When Ellen went forward to pray with one of these women, it blessed my heart. 

Sometimes, one got noisy. In her quiet way Ellen took that one of of the service. I marvelled at her patience. 

“What have you learned from these special people?” I asked. “We learned that you don’t stop because you have a problem. Keep going on.” 

My only daughter was born normal. However, I found it difficult to raise her without a daddy when he went to be with Christ. Ellen taught me not to give up, but to keep pressing onward. 

A compressed disk in her back forced Ellen to retire. She did not complain. She depended on Chuck to get her up and down. When able to attend church again, she testified, “When I can’t sleep at night, I’m thankful. It gives me more time to pray.” 

When Chuck’s heart failed him, leaving Ellen a widow, she moved to Valley Manor, a nursing home. She continued reaching out to others in this place. I only heard her complain once because she could not speak to others. 

Ellen would readily admit she has her faults, but to me she set forth an example of a woman who pleased God. He says that it pleases Him when we obey His command to love one another” (1 John 3:22-23). My friend certainly loved others. 

Now she has met her Lord. This godly sailor resides in Heaven where her beloved husband dwells. 

God does not call all of us to reach out to the handicapped as Ellen did, but we can all show our love to others. When we put others before ourselves, it helps bring calm to our hearts. 

Bio: This article is based on a section in Lynn’s book, Our Lifeship: A Study in Proverbs for Women. You can see more about it at www.writingfrommyheart.com. Thank you for your interest.

Advertisements

8. Calm from the Saviour

8. Calm from my Saviour

“I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 3:10-11, KJV).

We moved back to Colorado. Our house lacked plumbing. We had running water. You went outside and primed the pump to get it. We heated water on the wood stove. We put pots under the beds which spared us from running out to the outhouse in the dark of night.

Dad, a mechanical engineer, built the farmhouse back in 1936. He said, “I’m going to build a nice house on the other side of Spring Creek. It’ll have electric lights and a toilet that flushes.”

His words made me jump up and down. As a little child, I watched Dad lay the foundation. I handed him nails while he put up the support posts. Though a small child at the time, I can still visualize those 2×4’s.

After what seemed like a long time, Dad finished building our “palace.” I turned on the hot water faucet and blinked as the hot water poured out. I pushed on the toilet fixture and jumped with delight when it flushed. I flicked the light switch and the light came on.

At first Mom cooked on a wood burning stove. Some delicious meals came from that stove. Yum! Yum! Yum!

Our farmhouse withstood the test of time; it still stands after 70 plus years. How about our building—the Christian life?

The Rock, Jesus Christ, laid a firm foundation for this building. When we plant our feet firmly on Him, the winds of doubt will not sweep away our building.

God says, “Let every man take heed how he buildeth” upon this foundation (1 Cor. 3:9). If we build wisely, we will lay up gold, silver and precious stones. This pleases God and we will reap a reward.

If we build unwisely, we will lay up wood, hay and stubble. Our building will burn up; only our souls will be spared. God says, “We will be saved so as by fire” in such a case.

How are we building our lifeship upon the foundation, Jesus Christ? Do we construct it with wood, hay and stubble? Or do we employ gold, silver, and precious stones? One day we will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ. The Captain will judge each of on how we built our lifeship. Will our building stand the test of time?

Bio: Lynn lives on her parents’ farm where she watches deer at play. Robins, mourning doves, sparrows, and other birds hunt for dinner. Hawks and bald eagles fly overhead. Her late husband and Lynn served as missionaries to the Navajo Indians for several years. After the Lord took her husband home to Heaven, He called Lynn to write for Him. About eighty articles found publication. Accent Bible Curriculum published two of her Sunday School packages. Ambassador-Emerald, International published her first book, Our Lifeship: Studies in Proverbs for Women. (A shorter piece is in this book.)

2. Calm Hearts

lynn2. Keep a Calm Heart

The heart is the lifeline of our lifeship. It resembles the ship’s motor. If the motor dies, the ship dies. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23). When you fail to keep your heart right, your ship will capsize.

The Captain, Jesus Christ, spoke about the heart of your ship. “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7). We look on the beauty of a ship. But will it hold the water back? Can you cross the Red Seas and Jordans in your life?

If you, as a Christian sailor, heed your Captain’s warnings, you will dwell safely and be quiet from the fear of evil. Jesus will give you peace and calm even in the midst of dire circumstances.

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”. “Be careful for nothing” means “Do not worry about anything.” God says pray and supplicate or beg Him for it. You can do this on the basis of His promises in His holy Word, the Bible. When you meet these conditions, He will give you the peace of God which surpasses our finite understanding.

Earlier in my life, I fell into a depressed state four times. When trials come my way, I feel troubled at that time. God has helped me so that I can deal with it and not stay in that state of mind.

Once, vandals trashed my place. That night I stayed in Mom’s condo and slept like a baby. I woke up with a smile on my face. Nothing I could do about my circumstances gave me this calmness and joy. Only my God can do that.

God has promised you and me peace. He said, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isa. 26:3). Do you trust in Him when everything seems against you? God knows all about it, and wants to give you His peace.

All Scriptures are taken from the King James Version. This article is based on Lynn’s book: Our Lifeship: A Study in Proverbs for Women. May we stay calm on life’s troubled seas. Get help on staying calm at http://www.writingfrommyheart.com

12. Hope and Trust in God

Numbers 13-14; Joshua 14

The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish…Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope (Prov. 10:28; Zech. 9:12).

In the book of Proverbs “the righteous” are the just, those declared righteous by God. When God looks down from Heaven, He buried their sins in the deepest sea (Mic. 7:19).

Moses, by God’s command, sent out twelve spies to spy out the land of Canaan. At this time Caleb was forty, and one of the spies. Because Caleb trusted God, he followed Him wholly.

“Taste this honey, Joshua.”

“Ummmm, good.”

“Can you help me carry back these grapes, Joshua.”

“Sure, Caleb.”

“Here, I’ve got this pole cut down. Did you ever see such big grapes, Joshua?”

“No, and they’re so delicious.”

“Let’s gather some pomegranates and figs in our baskets.”

“I never tasted such good fruit.”

***

“The land of Canaan flows with mild and honey,” ten of the spies reported. “But,” they said, “Giants live there in great walled cities. We saw them and felt like grasshoppers. We cannot overcome them.”

“Oh yes we can,” Caleb said. “Let’s go up right away and conquer the land. The Lord will give it to us.”

The people said, “Let’s stone Caleb and Joshua. They speak foolishly.”

“These ten men shall not see the land,” a voice thundered. “They will die by a plague. The people will wander in the wilderness forty years.”

However, Caleb and Joshua lived. They had a different attitude. God said because Caleb followed Him wholly, He would bring him into the land of Canaan.”

Forty-five years later Caleb reminded Joshua of God’s promise. He said, “Give me this mountain. I can drive out the giants.”

“You, Caleb, have wholly followed the Lord.  You can have this mountain. The Lord has given it to you.” At eighty-five he drove out the giants and the land had rest from war.

The spies had their eyes on the circumstances and their own ability. They died in the wilderness.

Caleb and Joshua had their eyes on the LORD and His might, and God gave the victory. None of us are sufficient in ourselves, but only in God.

Giants stalk all our paths. A few years ago I came home to a giant. Vandals had trashed out my house. I saw it and felt utterly helpless.

That night I slept at Mom’s house. God gave me sweet sleep. The next day I awoke with a smile and deep peace in my heart.

My friends, knowing of my plight, helped me conquer this giant. It took us a full day to clean up.

If I had trusted in my own resources, this giant would have defeated me. By God’s strength we overcame it.

Other giants have threatened my life and my property. When I trust in myself, I fail. If I look up to Jesus, He gives me victory.

We all face giants in our lives. Your giants may wear a different face than mine. As we trust in God and then step out in faith, we can conquer the giants in our lives.

Your giants may wear a different face than mine, but we can conquer as Caleb did when we place our faith and hope in Christ. “Faith, humility, and peace keep us afloat as we sail on troubled seas” (Taken from Our Lifeship by Lynn Wallace, page 19).

Bio:

Ambassador-Emerald International published Lynn’s book, Our Lifeship: Studies in Proverbs for Women. (See www.writingfrommyheart.com) Periodicals published about eighty of her articles and fillers. Accent Publications published two of her curriculum packages. Leon, her late husband, and she served on the Navajo field several years.She plays the piano for Canyon View Baptist Church in Montrose, Colorado.

10. Hope in God’s Help

lynnPsalm 146

Psalm 146:5

Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God:

The happy woman has God for her help and her hope (v. 5). She trusts in the Lord. God promises that she shall be like a tree planted by a river. Even in the heat her leaf is green. She does worry about droughts and yields fruit even in those times (Jer. 17:7-8). We can have a happy and fruitful life even in these times of recession.

Our God is the same God who watched over Jacob. Now Jacob was by no means perfect. He cheated his brother, Esau, out of the birthright and the blessing. Consequently, his twin brother, Esau, hated him and wanted to kill him.

Jacob fled to Haran. On the way he became weary and fell asleep with only a stone to lay his head on. He saw a vision of angels ascending and descending upon a ladder. God promised, “I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goeth.”

Jacob arrived in Haran where his Uncle Laban lived. This man looked out for his own interests and tricked Jacob into marrying Leah instead of Rachel whom Jacob loved. Jacob had labored seven years for her. Now Laban forced him to labor seven more years for Rachel. Jealousy arose between his two wives and contention.

Because Jacob hated Leah and loved Rachel, the second wife bare no children. Her anger lashed out at Jacob, “Give me children , or else I die.”

Jacob’s anger waxed hot. He said, “Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?” Rachel sinned and gave him her maid, Bilhah, that she might bear children for her. She bore two children. Leah had born four children. Leah followed Rachel’s bad example, and gave her maid, Zilpah, to Jacob. This made bore two children for Leah. Leah gave birth to two more sons and one daughter, Dinah. At last Rachel birthed one son, Joseph.

God blessed Jacob. He served Laban six years for his livestock Jacob’s livestock multiplied Laban ended up with the least desirable of the animals. Laban had changed Jacob’s wages ten times.

After this, God spoke to Jacob and reminded him of a promise he had made if he returned to Bethel in the promised land (Gen. 28:20-22). He said, “Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.” Jacob left with his family and with his livestock.

On the way the angels of God met him. Jacob said, “This is God’s host.” Jacob sent messengers to Esau. They returned and told him that Esau was coming to meet him. Jacob was greatly afraid.

He divided the people and the animals with him into two bands. He said, “If Esau come to the one company and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape.” Then he prayed, “O God of Abraham…I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies…Thou hast shown unto thy servant…Deliver me, I pray thee…from the hand of Esau…Thou saidst, I will surely do thee good.” He stayed there that night, and prepared a present for Esau. He divided this gift into three droves with servants. He thought to appease his brother’s anger with these gifts.

That night Jacob was left alone. That night he wrestled with a man whom he later learned was God Himself. He called the name of this place, Peniel. He said, “I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” God touched his thigh and Jacob limbed from that time onward. The Lord changed his name to Israel, a prince with God.

Jacob awoke and saw Esau. He ran to meet him, and hugged him. He fell on his neck and kissed him. At first he refused to take any gift from Jacob, for he said, “I have enough. Jacob insisted; he took the gift. Then the two brothers parted and went their own ways.

See Genesis 25:29-34; 27-33 for this story.

We are not better than Jacob. We are all unworthy of what God has prepared for us. God says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). God is a merciful and just God. He wants to bless you as He blessed Jacob. He has blessed me greatly. The greatest blessing is my salvation from my sin and the punishment it deserves. He called me to do a work for Him.  I feel so unworthy, but He keeps pouring out His blessings.

He does not promise us a trouble-free life, but He promises to go with us just as He did Jacob. “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5).

He opened the way for me to live on my parents’ farm. I love to watch the robins, mourning doves, hawks and other birds. Deer bound along on this property. I gaze out the windows and see the San Juan Mountains. I walk to my mailbox, look the other way, and see Grand Mesa.

One day a raccoon sat up outside my bedroom window. A skunk goes outside the same window. He looks so cute, but, oh, the smell!

Even in my troubles, He brings a blessing. The other day a big truck backed into me as I went on the homeward path. As we waited for the police, we spoke together, and a woman bought one of my books. I held up my book, Our Lifeship: A Study in Proverbs for Women. I said, “I wrote it to help women sail calmly on life’s troubled seas.” She wanted it and her sister bought it for her birthday.

5. Our Eternal Hope

5. Hope in Troubles

Psalms 42 and 43

Psalm 42:5, 11; 43:5

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

David felt like all the waves and billows swept over him. Three times he asked, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?”

His enemies asked him, “Where is your God?” They worshipped idols. David, an exile, could not attend the temple services. To the Israelite in Old Testament times these services made up the chief means of approaching God. Tears ran down David’s cheeks day and night. He poured out his soul unto God.

Now he was shut off from these services. He fled from Jerusalem because his son, Absalom, usurped the throne. Though David had confessed his sin with Bathsheba, and been forgiven, he still suffered its consequences. He may have felt God was angry with him.

David meditated on the time he enjoyed sweet communion with God in His house. He had joy and praised God. He enjoyed the fellowship with God and other believers. He attended the holy days. Now an exile from the palace, he could not go to the temple.

He felt despondent as if he had gone down to the depths of the sea. He said, “All thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.”

What could David do in these dire circumstances? Often, people become bitter when everything seems against them. David loved the Lord, and turned to Him for comfort. He encouraged himself in the Lord. He said, “The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.”

He said unto God his Rock, “Why hast Thou forgotten me?” He mourned because the enemy oppressed him. He felt as if a sword entered his bones from their reproach. He repeated, “They daily say unto me, Where is thy God?”

He asked two more times, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” He asked God to judge him, and plead for him “against an ungodly nation. O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.”

He turned to God for strength. “Thou art the God of my strength.” He pled, “O send out Thy light and Thy truth. Let them lead me. Let them bring me unto Thy holy hill…Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy. Yea, upon the harp will I praise Thee, O God my God.” David was skilled upon the harp. He believed one day he would return to Jerusalem, to the temple. He wanted to give his best unto the Lord.

David’s hope was in God. He helped him, and gave him spiritual health. David praised his God even in exile.

What would we do if the enemy took us to a foreign land? He captured us and in his country no churches existed where we could meet with God’s people. In such a situation some professing Christians would become bitter. Others like David would encourage themselves in the Lord, and not give up their hope. If we belong to Jesus, we have an eternal hope, the hope of Heaven. No enemy can take that away from us.

Would we hunger and thirst for God as David did? Would we turn to Him in prayer and complain to Him? Would we earnestly plead to God for mercy? What if the enemy took our Bible away? Do we know enough Scripture to sustain us in such a case? Determine now whatever the case to let God comfort you and do not give up hope.

Lynn and Leon, her beloved husband, served as missionaries to the Navajo Indian for several years. After God took her honey to Heaven, He called her to write for Him. Many of her articles found publication, and two Sunday School curriculum packages. Ambassador International published her first book, Our Lifeship: A Study in Proverbs for Women. More information is available at www.writingfrommyheart.com.